So with the Youtube and Twitter templates made, changes to the Facebook page and the Fundrazr app ready to go in the websites new, sleeker homepage we are ready to press go and re-launch the Kolibri to the world! Right? Well err no, not quite…
In an internal meeting the good chaps at Kolibri decided that they wanted to take the transformations down a gear and implement changes on a step by step basis. So what does this mean? Well the main planned changes to the website will be put on hold for the time being. Changes such as the slideshow in the top of the screen, larger and more accessible social media buttons, the ability to donate easily via the website and the Facebook fans widget will have to stay shrink wrapped for a little while longer.
It’s a bit of a shame but it’s undoubtedly understandable. Everyone has to have buy-in to the proposed changes and doing anything too risky too soon could potentially alienate their supporters. Whilst they weren’t anything too radical, the implementation of changes to the website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as well adding a donate field to the website at the same time as cutting ties with MySpace, all in space of just over two months would make most people want to ease their foot off the accelerator. Especially with an established charity. The “softly softly, catchy monkey” approach can still reap benefits.
The problem is of course that for the benefit of my university work I did of course want to “see how far the rabbit hole could go” in as quick a time as possible. My initial hopes of laying the foundation to sending Kolibri online interaction into the stratosphere will just have to wait.
This is a lesson in itself though. I have experienced and learned a lot in the past few months:
1) The realisation that you can’t rely on one source of promotion. I had big aims of drawing people into the Kolibri Page by a method called “Fan Gating”. This is a technique that was employed by many of the big Facebook fan pages out there and meant that if you landed on a page that employed Fan Gating you would have to click “like” to enter the page and see some exclusive “Fan Only” content. This meant that you couldn’t just wander onto a Facebook page and have a good root around. If you wanted to do such a thing you would first have to become a fan and in doing so increasing the popularity of the page. As it is very easy to click “like” and not so obvious to find “unlike” then any the curiosity of what would normally be a window shopper is converted to a “like”. Few are inclined to “dislike”. This technique could prove very effective at increasing the number of subscribers.
My initial intention was to employ fan gating for The Kolibri Projects Facebook Page. Quite close to the start of the project, however, it was announced that all Facebook Fan pages would be changing to the the “Timeline” style and in doing so would remove any option to fan gate. This had a lot of people that ran fan pages, social media people and app developers up in arms. Not only had they relied heavily on Facebook but one particular facet of it. When Facebook changed their direction they took the wind from a lot of peoples sails. They can do this again at any time and they don’t have to answer to anyone. It goes without saying that from now on you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket!
2) Try to consider the timeframe more effectively. During the course of this project I tried to fit a lot in and believed that I could do. I probably could have done if everything had gone to plan but this wasn’t to to be the case here. In the future I will look at more bite sized chunks – alleyways planning the next stages but only moving on once the previous aim had been completed.
3) If you are working for a client you have to get their full buy in from the start and make sure that they are happy with the trajectory. Communication is key at all stages. If more than one person is involved you should ensure that everyone involved in the project is happy and involved.
4) I have learned a new set of skills on Adobe Photoshop and Apple Motion based on online video tutorials. This is encouraging as the cost of such courses is high. The use of YouTube, Blogs and other online tutorials is perhaps one of the best ways to learn … ANYTHING… They are great as unless you are some kind of “Will Hunting” genius you won’t be the first person to ask the question but in addition there will be “Will Hunting” type peoples that want you to know that they know. The only problem is that some geeks find it hard to communicate in the way of the layman
So as my work with the Kolibri Project draws to a close, in so far as the work tied in with the university project, (I will of course be helping out if I can) there is one final thing that I think would be helpful to the good people at Kolibri. As i write this The YouTube channel still stands with only 4 subscribers, and 7 videos. This is a very small amount for anyone.
Kolibri needs more videos of as high a quality as possible. In addition to the videos they need to people to know that they are watching their videos and that they can find out more about Kolibri if they wanted to online.
Using skillz that I have learned on Youtube I jumped onto Apples Motion Graphic software, “Motion” and set about making some animated indents of the Kolibri Logo that can be used to “bookend” any videos that will be made and posted on line. You can have a look at these here.
Kolibri Intro Clip
Kolibri Outro Clip
The outro ident ends with ten seconds of still time that gives ample time to add a “subscribe” button to the site and entice more people to watch more of the videos as subscribe to their Youtube channel as well as giving the all important website and Facebook links. This should really help to boost up the amount of subscribers that they have, which should have a great knock on effect with regards to the number of people that watch the videos that they produce!
So that’s me done with for a while now. I will continue to work with the Kolibri guys as much as I can do and will be helping to make some videos with them at the Kolibri Fest so we should be seeing some fruits of the of the labour in terms of the amount of people that start to notice and engage with Kolibri on line!